The Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund (VTSMX), for example, invests in stocks that mimic the entirety of the U.S. stock market and has an annualized total growth of 10.74%. T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund (RRFDX) is another strong performer.
Learn about other quality stock mutual funds by visiting Morningstar, an independent rating service for mutual funds, or TheStreet.com Ratings.
Once you find a fund you want to invest in, you can usually fill out the paperwork online and mail the company a check.
On a day-to-day basis, mutual funds, like the stock market, can fluctuate, so plan on sticking it out for the long haul to see your money grow. In 10 years, your $5,000 has a good chance of more than doubling to $12,000 with a mutual fund that grows annually at 9%.